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Suki Kinari Hydro-power Project under CPEC helping facilitate local workforce and resolving Pakistan's chronic energy crisis

  • July 8, 2019
Suki Kinari Hydro-power Project under CPEC helping facilitate local workforce and resolving Pakistan's chronic energy crisis
Image caption Suki Kinari Hydro-power Project under CPEC helping facilitate local workforce and resolving Pakistan's chronic energy crisis

ISLAMABAD: The Suki Kinari hydropower station, being executed under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is not only helping to train thousands of local workers but it will also resolve one-fifth of energy shortage in Pakistan after its completion in December 2022.

At the beginning of the current month, the number of workers from China and Pakistan who are working round the clock has climbed to 4,000, according to a report published by Chinese media here on Sunday.

The number of Pakistani workers will reach more than 6,000, during the peak period of the project construction next year, which will play an important role in ensuring employment opportunities for locals and improving people's livelihood.

Suki Kinari, a run-of-the-river largest private sector hydropower project located on Kunhar River in the Kaghan Valley of District Mansehra, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, will add 870 MW to the national grid by December 2022.

As the largest hydropower project invested by China Gezgouba Group in Pakistan with a cost of US $ 1.962 billion, its construction was started on December 31, 2016.

Hydropower project manager Deng Siwen informed that since the second half of last year, the spillway have been excavated, and the construction of the seepage prevention wall, the diversion tunnel, the underground powerhouse and the tailwater tunnel have also been excavated, while 30 working faces have been opened.

At present, it has entered a small construction peak period. The number of Chinese personnel working on the whole project is close to 800 people, and the Pakistani personnel are more than 3,800 people.

Deng Siwen said many Pakistani employees did not master any skills of hydropower stations at the beginning of recruitment, and they could only do some of the simplest physical activities.

However, after the hands-on training of Chinese builders, many Pakistani employees gradually grew into welders and steel workers.

Some skilled workers, such as pouring workers and ironclad workers, also undertake management duties such as taking classes and working group leaders.

At present, one-tenth of the Pakistani employees working at the Suki Kinari Hydropower Station has worked in the Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Station in Pakistan, which was built by the Gezgouba Group in China. They grow into professionals who can work independently.

The electric team captain Zhong Wei is responsible for the installation and commissioning of the medium and high voltage equipment like line erection, the power supply of the first and the tail of the hydropower station, and the maintenance of large equipment.

It manages about 100 Pakistani employees. Since nine years ago, he has cultivated many outstanding Pakistani employees in the work of the Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Station. When the Suki Kinar hydropower station started, he took his 16 Pakistani apprentices to the new position.

Zhong Rong said, "In addition to words and deeds, I will also draw some power maps, teach them the skills of work, and combine the written knowledge with the work on hand to interact at work." Bilal Ghani has been working with Zhong Rong for nine years from the Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Station to the Suki Kinari Hydropower Station has grown up from a graduate student in electrical automation to a technical backbone of a hydropower project, specializing in generator repair and commissioning, even by identifying generators.

He said, "Our team is like a family. Pakistani and Chinese work together and get along very well. Mr. Zhong is both my teacher and my friend. He taught me a lot and taught me how to work. I also passed on knowledge of technology to my team. Now everyone is doing very well." The Suki Kinari Hydropower Project is scheduled to be completed on December 31, 2022. The hydropower station will install four impact-type hydroelectric generating units with a single unit capacity of 221 MW, with a total installed capacity of 884 MW and an annual generating capacity of 3.221 billion kW. At the time, it accounted for 7.5% of Pakistan's hydropower generation. Upon completion, it will solve one-fifth of the power gap in Pakistan.

Bilal Khan, senior business manager of the hydropower project said that these Chinese people came to Pakistan, improved infrastructure solved the power shortage problem, and did a lot of things for the Pakistani people.

"Pakistan suffers from a power shortage. The industry is the backbone of every country, but currently in Karachi, Lahore, most of the factories were facing problems due to lack of electricity or closed down.

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